An innovative education hub, known as EdCity, with a Youth Zone, new school, nursery, adult education centre and affordable housing will be built in White City, after Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s Planning and Development Control Committee unanimously resolved to grant planning permission.
The plans will see the site, currently occupied by Ark Swift Primary Academy, Harmony Neighbourhood Nursery and the Adult Community Learning Centre, redeveloped with state-of-the-art facilities for a replacement school, nursery and adult education centre.
In addition, OnSide and the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham are working in partnership to develop Hammersmith & Fulham Youth Zone, the first Youth Zone in west London, offering a huge range of affordable activities and inspiring sports, arts, music, mentoring and employability programmes to young people from eight to 19 (and up to 25 for those with additional needs), seven days a week.
The Youth Zone will include indoor sports facilities and a Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) for basketball, trampolining, cricket, volleyball, badminton, table tennis and five-a-side football. The Youth Zone’s facilities will be used during school hours by the new Ark Swift Primary Academy.
EdCity will also provide affordable office space for charities and social enterprises, 71 new affordable homes and 61 homes for private rent. A landscaped boulevard connecting the White City estate to Wood Lane will be introduced, with new trees and a new public square.
Andrew McLean, Vengrove, the development manager for EdCity, said: “We are delighted that the committee recognised the significant benefits that EdCity will bring to the area, whether you are a parent looking for great education for your child, a young person looking to discover a new talent, an adult looking to learn a new skill or a charity looking for affordable office space.”
“There are so many opportunities in H&F and more being created every day, we want everyone to be able to take advantage of them.” said Cllr Sue Macmillan H&F Cabinet Member for Children and Education.
“This is why we’re so glad we could play such a key role in this development – providing the land needed for it to go ahead and funding in the years to come. It will help give all young people their very best shot at everything life has to offer.”
Jamie Masraff, Project Director, OnSide Youth Zones, said: “This will be our first Youth Zone in west London. It will offer a high-quality, safe and affordable place for young people to go in their leisure time. From DJ-ing to rock climbing, martial arts to dance, we want to inspire and support young people, giving them a second home where they can flourish. This decision is a major milestone in bringing us significantly closer to being able to make a difference in west London.”
Alongside other education-focused charities and social enterprises, one of the major new tenants of the affordable office space will be Ark, the education charity with a network of schools in Hammersmith and Fulham including Ark Swift Primary Academy, which will move its headquarters from central London.
Jason Marantz, the principal at Ark Swift Primary Academy, said: “This is very exciting for Ark Swift – we cannot wait to move into our new, state-of-the-art educational facilities and see our pupils benefit from all the opportunities that will be created by being part of EdCity.”
Harmony Neighbourhood Nursery’s new facilities will allow them to expand from 45 to 75 children, offering its Ofsted-Outstanding care and early years education to more local children.
H&F Council will work with them and find temporary accommodation to ensure there will be no loss in provision for working parents while the work is taking place.
Meanwhile the council’s adult community learning centre will move into a larger, state-of-the-art facility, bringing its essential services to more people in the local area.
Jana Hassan, manager of Harmony Neighbourhood Nursery, added: “We are currently oversubscribed and so it is wonderful that we will be able to expand our Ofsted-outstanding care and early years education to more parents in White City.”
Construction could begin this summer with the new Ark Swift Primary Academy and OnSide Youth Zone opening in 2020, the new Harmony Neighbourhood Nursery opening in 2021 and all construction work complete by 2022.
More information is available on the project website: www.edcity.org.